Remote Tower Systems (RTS)

remote tower system

RTS are not currently approved for use in the NAS.


Remote Tower Systems are a proposed Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) solution for the National Airspace System (NAS). An RTS may consist of one or more types of optical sensors and displays. RTS provides Air Traffic Control Specialists (ATCS) with the visual information they need to supply ATCT services. The optical sensors can include, but are not limited, to optical day/night cameras or infrared/thermal cameras. These sensors will be used to replace the information that controllers presently gather by looking out the windows of traditional ATCTs. Since RTS technology does not require an ATCS to look out of a window overlooking the airport, the display monitor and control equipment can be sited and operated at a location that is off airport grounds.

Note: RTS technology may also be known by the following unofficial terms: Virtual Air Traffic Control Tower, Virtual ATCT, Remote Air Traffic Control Tower, Remote ATCT, Digital Tower.

Last updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2024